Zach Britton returned from the DL on Monday, but he pitched in a none save situation in his first appearance with some wildness (three walks in one inning). It may take him a week or so to work his way into the 9th inning. Brad Brach blew his second save in 12 chances last week when he allowed three runs and five base runners over one-third of an inning. Brach has a 2.13 ERA over his last 12.2 innings with eight walks and 12 Ks. His days in the 9th inning are numbered. Darren O’Day returned from the DL over the last week leading to two shutout innings with no hits or walks and four Ks.
Wade Davis started to take on water over his last four outings (four runs, six base runners, and one home run over 3.1 innings with six Ks). Davis has a loss, two saves, and one blown saves over his last four games. Wade has 20 saves in 23 chances on the year. Adam Ottavino should be activated from the DL this week after 2+ weeks with an oblique injury. Jake McGee allowed one run over his last six innings with no walks and six Ks.
Hector Rondon picked up three saves over the last week while improving his scoreless run to 9.1 innings with 13 Ks. Rondon delivered 77 saves over three seasons with the Cubs, which gives him a chance to steal the job long term. After allowing three runs and five base runners over two innings in none save situations, Ken Giles threw 2.2 shutout innings with four Ks and a save in his last two games. As bad as he may appear in ERA (4.76), Giles doesn’t have a blown save in 11 tries in 2018. Chris Devenski has 2.25 ERA over his last eight innings with ten Ks. I expect the closing job to be fluid for the Astros over the next month.
New York Mets
Jeurys Familia landed in the DL last weekend with a bum right shoulder after allowing four runs and 13 hits over seven innings. The Mets expect him back in a couple of weeks. Anthony Swarzak returned from the DL last week. Over three innings of work, Swarzak allowed a run over three innings with four Ks while earning the last save in New York. Robert Gsellman pitched well enough to earn saves after tossing six shutout innings with one hit and seven Ks.
Blake Treinen has 14 saves in 16 chances with no runs over their last 10.2 innings with 14 Ks. Lou Trivino picked up a save over the last week while posting a 2.04 ERA over his last 17.2 innings with 11 walks and 17 Ks. Emilio Pagan improved his shutout streak to 8.1 innings with five walks and eight Ks.
St. Louis Cardinals
Bud Norris has two wins, two saves, and two blown saves over his last five games while showing job loss risk. Norris has a 9.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over his last four innings with seven Ks. Jordan Hicks is trending toward the ninth inning after pitching six shutout innings with one walk, 12 Ks, and one save. Nicks is a must own now if a Fantasy owner invested in Norris. Over his last seven games, John Brebbia didn’t allow a run over 6.1 innings with eight Ks.
Tampa Bay Rays
Sergio Romo pitched 4.2 shutout innings over his last five games with four Ks and one save. His ERA (5.19) and WHIP (1.42) don’t have closer value, especially when adding in an 87 mph fastball. Jose Alvarado pitched poorly over his last nine games (six runs and 18 base runners over 12.1 innings with 15 Ks) just when it appeared he was in line for saves. Jonny Venters lost his way when the clueless Rays decided to pitch him in the first inning against the Nationals (five runs and five base runners over one-third of an inning). Chaz Roe may be the closest to the 9th after tossing 9.2 shutout innings with two hits and ten Ks.